Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In your opinion, what are the main benefits of an administrative tribunal?
First, would it be an independent, autonomous tribunal, or would we give responsibility for language rights to the human rights tribunal, for example? Do you envision a completely separate administrative tribunal for official languages?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
There is a lot of talk about the wording of the act and replacing the word “may” with “must”. That's interesting and it would be very good, but I have concerns about part VII and the impact it might have on the British North America Act and the separation of powers.
Do you think that this change of wording from the word “may” to “must” should also be done in part VII, while fully respecting the areas of jurisdiction?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ah, yes, I heard that. Part IV has regulations, but Part VII doesn't.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It's like a body without legs, basically. We have no idea how to make it work.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have another quick question.
As far as the Commissioner is concerned, when I spoke to other international experts, I noted that there was a lot of room for the idiosyncrasy of the individual in the position. As you said, never has a commissioner brought a case to court. I think I understood that.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I was finishing my question. May I wrap up quickly, please?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Shouldn't the act be changed with respect to the Office of the Commissioner so that the individual in office doesn't always make decisions in a discretionary manner, as he or she sees fit? Shouldn't the act tell the Commissioner that he or she must do this or that every time?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Mr. Kong and Mr. Forgues. Thank you for being with us today.
Mr. Kong, I think you have been very specific in your opening remarks. I might come back to you, but I'll just start off with Mr. Forgues, with all due respect, as I have many questions for him.
Mr. Forgues, please be as succinct as possible.
You talked about the efficacy of the act. Have you seen the FCFA’s proposed bill?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand. That’s one of my concerns as well.
Do you support an administrative tribunal for official languages?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
The FCFA is proposing that it be mandatory to review the act every 10 years. Given the principles of the Westminster system, I’m not so sure it would be smart to force Parliament to undertake such a specific exercise every 10 years.
You’re a sociologist, so do you think that a mandatory review every 10 years could have a deflating effect on organizations like the FCFA? After all, they are a mobilizing force and a significant part of their focus, or underlying desire, is reforming the act. From a sociologist's standpoint, do you think a deflating effect would be likely?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I’m going to move on to another question. As I'm sure you can appreciate, Mr. Forgues, I need to be speedy.
I’m not sure I understood this correctly. At the beginning of your statement, you said that compliance with the Official Languages Act was better today than in the past, and then you talked about the lack of leadership within government agencies. Did I get that right? How is compliance with the act better today?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
How much time do I have left, Mr. Chair?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Excellent. That’s loads of time.
Of course, many want to see the word “shall” replace the word “may” in part VII. Taking into account the federal dynamic and the Constitution Act, 1867, do you think that change is necessary?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Very well, but you, Mr. Forgues, what do you think?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Madame Huws, it's an honour to have you through televised conference. I knew a bit about Wales, but I didn't know that there were so many particularities and that there was a commissioner. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us.
I'll go right to the subject at hand. You have punitive measures in your regulatory functions, including up to £5,000 in fines. In terms of all the measures at your disposal, which do you find have the most impact when you have to use one of them?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In those instances where you do use the fine, who is the fine paid to? Are these paid to collective funds or a place where fines are amassed to be used to address the lack of services, for example?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, I see. That's interesting.
If you had to, the money would come to your organization, and you would use it for your own structural needs or anything else?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When it comes to your relationship with whichever tribunals exist, I would like to better understand your relationship with them, because we're considering adopting the model of administrative tribunal.
Would you personally take a cause to the tribunal on behalf of an individual or an organization?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Foucher, I'm very happy to see you here this morning. I was the one who requested your appearance here.
Mr. Pelletier, as I told you, I'm very happy to meet you. Many people have told me that you are an accomplished constitutional expert. I think of myself as an amateur constitutionalist. Maybe we can put that to the test.
I would like to get right down to business. We decided to improve on the Senate's study by focusing on elements related to the tribunal and the positive measures mentioned in part VII. If I understand correctly, when the act was last amended in 2005, lawmakers wanted to make the notion of positive measures more tangible in part VII.
Mr. Pelletier, I've been told that you are an expert on intergovernmental relations. Perhaps you are too, Mr. Foucher. I don't know.
Here's what I'd like to ask you. Take the Université de l'Ontario français, an exceptional undertaking that, for the first time in Canada's history, would give the federal government the opportunity to implement a truly positive measure by circumventing the provincial government and funding the university directly by various means. If that were to happen, what would the consequences be?
Similarly, if the wording of part VII were to extend beyond the realm of possibility into duty, any community could, at some point, contact the federal government, tell the government the community is dying, and call on the government to take positive measures. My question is really two questions in one.
First, in a case like that, how could the government determine if the community is truly in danger?
Second, if the government were to take positive measures in an area under provincial jurisdiction, what would the consequences be in terms of shared jurisdiction under the Constitution?
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